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Old 02-16-2018, 07:20 PM   #1
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Solar Battery Charger

I was wondering what size of solar charger I would need to charge up a regular deep cycle 12v battery and daytime electrical assist.?

On my last trailer I had a Go Power unit on the roof and I think it was a 30 watt. It seemed to charge up the battery during the day and keep it charged during daily use.

Thoughts welcome
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Old 02-16-2018, 07:26 PM   #2
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You're coming at this from the wrong angle. You need to determine how much energy you use during the day. You then need to base your battery bank size on that demand, buy enough solar panels to recharge your batteries effectively, and then purchase a solar controller to match those panels. Sizing the controller (which is the charger) is actually the last step in this process.

In our case, we use 200 watts of panel to recharge batteries totaling 220 amp hours, with a controller of appropriate size. It suits our need, but if money were no object I would have a much bigger battery bank and more panels. But my energy consumption needs will likely be drastically different than yours. Only you will know.
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Old 02-17-2018, 04:56 PM   #3
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The rule of thumb is 100w of solar per battery (220 amp hr). A 100w panel will make about 5 amps of current and you can expect about 5 hrs of sun per day, so that's 25 a/h per day. If you are parked in full sun, no clouds, rain, etc.

A 30w (1.5a) or 100w (5a) panel is a trickle charger.

Add more batteries, then add solar.
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Old 02-17-2018, 06:32 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BCIslander View Post
I was wondering what size of solar charger I would need to charge up a regular deep cycle 12v battery and daytime electrical assist.?

On my last trailer I had a Go Power unit on the roof and I think it was a 30 watt. It seemed to charge up the battery during the day and keep it charged during daily use.

Thoughts welcome
If your battery is 100ah , and you discharge it 80% , you would need 400 watts of solar in full bright sun to recharge it. The battery will have 80 amp hrs removed . 400 watts is aprox 20 amps x 5 hrs of full sun = 100 ah. 80 ah to replace the power removed + 20% for battery inefficiencies . Then you would have to add more solar depending on the daytime load.
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Old 02-18-2018, 07:00 PM   #5
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thanks I'm trying figure out necessity...we generally stay in rv resorts or parks and occasionally dry camp for a few days. I will be installing all LED lamps throughout our TT.

Loads would mostly be just lighting. WH is both gas or electric and of course the stove is gas. running the furnace likely not going to be a priority. WPump would be the worst drain of power during the day and evening.

I think what I have in my mind is just the ability to recharge the battery after the evening use. We have a smaller TT at 21 1/2' and are a little weight restricted. I don't want to pack a gennie, so I thought a solar panel,
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Old 02-18-2018, 07:05 PM   #6
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I still carry a generator for back up in case of a string of cloudy days, especially in the fall when the sun angle is low and days are shorter.
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Old 03-10-2018, 08:44 PM   #7
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actually, realized that I had a 100 watt solar panel and 30 amp Control unit from Go Power.

Has anyone had any experience with the flexible Solar panels?

Absolutely near zero weight and nothing sticking up on the roof. You can walk on it and not hurt it.

They can be stuck down with adhesive or screwed down.
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:32 AM   #8
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The issue we've been seeing with flexible panels besides performance is heat. They lack ability to dissipate heat, then the diodes in the panels burn out.

Panels mounted to the roof properly are not an issue. Properly done they with uv protected wiring they will outlast your Rv.

The first thing to consider is how much energy you do use. Saving watts are easier and cheaper than making watts.
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Old 03-20-2018, 09:40 AM   #9
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Thanks for the thoughts on the flexible solar panels. I know I heard that they can degrade faster than solid panels.

I have been going through the TT and reducing watts needed. I just replaced all the lighting with LED, so a considerable usage savings there. The only real usage would likely be the water pump. If we are "pre and post" season Rving, we would be attached to shore power.

The main problem with our 21.5 ft trailer is available roof space. Could likely get a 200 w unit up there, but I remember our 100 w unit charged the battery up nicely.

Again, thanks for the info.
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Old 03-20-2018, 09:48 AM   #10
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I have a TT with a 'floor length' of just over 17'. Plan is to put 400w of solar up there. Have no room for more than 2x Group 24 batteries.
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Old 03-21-2018, 05:10 PM   #11
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I don't know if anyone here is using the renogy flexible panels but this might be of interest if you are.

TO ALL MEMBERS WHO HAVE RENOGY FLEXIBLE 100 WATT PANELS

HOME VOLUNTARY PRODUCT RECALL

Subject: Voluntary Product Recall – 100 Watt Renogy Bendable Solar Panels

RNG is issuing a voluntary product recall of specific 100 Watt Renogy bendable solar panels. This product is being voluntarily recalled because the configuration of the product may cause it to overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

The products are 100 Watt bendable solar panels purchased after April 28th, 2015 (model number RNG-100DB). The products have the UPC code 720825342283 and a serial number beginning with 15029201504030xxx or 15037201504140xxx.

Please stop using the product immediately and return the product to RNG for a full refund or a replacement product. If you have questions about this voluntary recall, please call RNG toll-free at 1 (800) 330-8678, ext. 2, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. PST Saturday, or email customerservice@renogy.com. Please be prepared with an order number or email address to look up the order.
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Old 03-22-2018, 08:36 AM   #12
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I don't know if anyone here is using the renogy flexible panels but this might be of interest if you are.

TO ALL MEMBERS WHO HAVE RENOGY FLEXIBLE 100 WATT PANELS

HOME VOLUNTARY PRODUCT RECALL

Subject: Voluntary Product Recall – 100 Watt Renogy Bendable Solar Panels

RNG is issuing a voluntary product recall of specific 100 Watt Renogy bendable solar panels. This product is being voluntarily recalled because the configuration of the product may cause it to overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

The products are 100 Watt bendable solar panels purchased after April 28th, 2015 (model number RNG-100DB). The products have the UPC code 720825342283 and a serial number beginning with 15029201504030xxx or 15037201504140xxx.

Please stop using the product immediately and return the product to RNG for a full refund or a replacement product. If you have questions about this voluntary recall, please call RNG toll-free at 1 (800) 330-8678, ext. 2, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. PST Saturday, or email customerservice@renogy.com. Please be prepared with an order number or email address to look up the order.
Voluntary recall, say's a lot about Renogy. The best customer service out there.
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Old 04-29-2018, 08:50 AM   #13
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Voluntary recall, say's a lot about Renogy. The best customer service out there.
Maybe, but I have had customers bring their renogy kits to us and I refuse to install them. Too many parts would need to be replaced IMHO.
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Old 04-30-2018, 10:07 AM   #14
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Maybe, but I have had customers bring their renogy kits to us and I refuse to install them. Too many parts would need to be replaced IMHO.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Right or wrong.
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